Maryland gun law improves safety

The recent article about the gun background check backlog points out that Maryland's new Firearms Safety Act which took effect on Oct. 1 will be one of the most effective laws in the nation to reduce gun violence ("New debate rises over Maryland gun law," Jan. 11).

This new law will prevent the kind of problem highlighted in the article in which gun dealers sell guns to people who have not had a full background check. Under the new law, before anyone can even go to a gun dealer to purchase a handgun, they must first go through a fingerprint-based background check and safety training and then get a license from the state police.

States that have this kind of fingerprint-based handgun licensing such as New York and Massachusetts have much lower gun death rates than similar states that do not. As the Sun article pointed out, there has been a drastic decline in handgun purchases in Maryland since the new law went into effect, and the Maryland State Police are doing a very good job of implementing it.

We at Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence will work closely with the O'Malley-Brown administration to make sure this new law is fully implemented to save as many lives as possible in our state.

Vincent DeMarco, Baltimore

The writer is president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

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